UNIT PLAN CONTENT AND RATIONALE Adapted from a unit plan template from Nipissing University in Ontario 081203 TITLE OF THIS UNIT: Novel Study: April Raintree and Halfbreed GRADE (S) LEVEL: ELA A30 LENGTH OF UNIT (# of hours or # of weeks): 3 weeks AUTHOR: Megan Schick All components of the unit plan are essential. Although presented in a linear fashion, the components may be completed in any order. RATIONALE - WHY AM I TEACHING THIS UNIT? ELA A30 is based on Canadian literate with the focus on people and places within Canada. The authors present a unique perspective of being metis Canadian, one that the students within this class may or may not be able to relate to. These novels will provide an important context in which we can have challenging conversations surrounding societal issues such as discrimination and historical and present day perspectives/stereotypes of aboriginal people. Specifically Beatrice Culleton’s novel brings up issues within the foster system that relate to current and local issues within the Saskatatchwan foster system. Grade twelve students are capable of dealing with the more major themes presented within these novels. It is important to have conversations surrounding discrimination and stereotypes at this age level so that students can begin to deconstruct their own biases before they enter the world of work, post-secondary, or trades. Culleton’s novel deals with mature themes such as rape and it will be important to premise the novel with a warning of the mature themes and a conversation about the purpose of these themes. This novel study will relate directly to the core theme of the ELA A30 curriculum: Canadian people and places. It also provides opportunities for students to respond critically and personally, find meaning, and appreciate the multiplicity of voices that make up Canadian literature. The CELs will be addressed as students: think critically about the social issues (discrimination, foster care, stereotypes, rape, injustice, etc.) presented in the texts; pose questions and seek clarification on themes and content; recognize bias and fallacies in their own thinking and, respectfully, in the rational of others; communicate and discuss for the purpose of learning as they confront challenging social issues; begin to understand their self and society more completely; identify and respect cultural perspectives that may be different from their own; use a variety of resources such as news articles and videos to assist in their own learning; and plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning as they relate their experiences, reflections, and response to the texts back to their final autobiographical project. This unit addresses the skills of speaking, listening, writing, reading, and representing. Knowledge to be addressed in this unit: analyze and identify multiple perspectives; viewing concepts through the lenses of perspectives other than our own; deconstructing ones personal biases; comparing and contrasting a variety of Canadian identities; personally connecting or comparing ones own experiences with that of the main characters; deconstructing societal injustices; and comprehension of themes, events, and characters within the novel. Attitudes addressed throughout this unit: historical and current stereotypes of Metis and Aboriginal Canadians; personal biases towards ‘the other’; discriminatory attitudes; the construct of ‘whiteness’; and the construct of ‘difference’. Helps the students become aware of who they are as Canadians and how they relate to other Canadians. Students will confront personal biases and begin to challenge the way they have been taught to think and act towards others who are different from them. Students will be exposed to challenging and sensitive topics that will require and emotional response. Personal reflection will help the students relate, reflect and compare their life experiences with those of the characters in the novel they choose to read. Students develop their academic skills in areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, representing, reflecting, and connecting personally with the content and characters. The classroom is made of a variety of cultural identities and we will need to especially sensitive towards the students with Aboriginal and Metis identities. I do not want these students to feel like they need to speak for Aboriginal and Metis people as a whole. Their personal experiences, along with every other student in the class, are valid and important to this unit. I want to create a respectful environment were students feel safe to share their ideas, opinions, fears and critical insights about the injustices within society. Many of the student’s love debating and discussing. These will be incorporated into the learning experiences of the students. There are many visual learners within the class as well and I will include videos and images within the unit to help these students relate to learning experiences. The characters and events within the novels are relatable to the age group of the students. The experiences may or may not be relatable to personal experiences but the students will be able to compare their life experiences to the characters experiences. Both novels seek to evoke strong emotions from the reader and I feel that this element of each novel will help the students be motivate do read and respond to the injustices and challenges that the characters face. Many of the injustices within the novel are directly related to the current social issues within our city and province. The students will be able to connect local issues with issues in the novel. Common Essential Learning: (1999) COM: Communication (Discussions and Group Presentations) CCT: Critical and Creative Thinking (Question responses; written responses; critical theory work, quotation collage; media scrapbook). IL: Independent Learning (independent reading; reader responses). PSVS: Personal and Social Values and Skills (reflections; presentations; group work; discussions). (2008) Developing Thinking: thinking and learning contextually; thinking and learning creatively; thing and learning critically. Developing Identity and Interdependence: understanding, valuing and caring for oneself; understanding, valuing and respecting human diversity and human rights and responsibilities; understanding and valuing social, economic, and environmental interdependence and sustainability. Developing Literacies: constructing knowledge related to various literacies; exploring and interpreting the world through various literacies; expressing understanding and communicating meaning using various literacies. Developing Social Responsibilities: using moral reasoning process; engaging in communitarian thinking and dialogue; contribute to wellbeing of self, others, and the natural world. Outcomes/Expectations Infusion of FNIM content and perspectives: Two Metis authors have written the novels studied in this unit. We will be discussing historical and current stereotypes of Metis and First Nations people. This unit will provide learning opportunities in each of these areas: Speaking: presentation skills, responses in small group and large group discussions; spoken word. Listening: Lectures; discussions; videos; oral readings of poetry (spoken word). Writing: Journals; reflections; mini-essays; responses to questions; compositions. Reading: research, novels, poems, articles, essays. English Language Arts 30 Curriculum Objectives (1999) Listening 2-Practive Behaviors of effective listeners: Respond personally, critically, creatively, and empathetically. Evaluate ideas critically. Distinguish between emotional appeal and reasoned argument. Ask for clarification. Identify bias and fallacy in a speaker’s arguments. Listening 3-Listen effectively in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes: Listen to understand and learn, analyzes and evaluates, and evaluate logical development of an argument. Writing 2-Practice the behaviors of effective writers: Recognize writing as a process of constructing meaning for self and others. Revise and polish compositions. Share, present, or publish compositions. Demonstrate the ability to trace a coherent thought pattern to a suitable conclusion. Confer with peers and teachers. Writing 3-Write fluently and confidently for a variety of purposes and audiences: reflect, clarify, and explore ides; express understanding; describe, inform, and persuade; and express self. Reading 2-Practice the behaviours of effective, strategic readers: make connections; find meaning; make and confirm predictions; reflect and evaluate; record reader’s responses; identify the effect created by the author’s voice tone, and style, and examine the methods by which they are achieved; summarize information; consider the social, historical, and philosophical milieu in which a selection was written. Reading 3-Read a variety of texts for a variety of purposes: relate literary experiences to personal experience and extend personal response; explore human experiences and values reflected in text; understand the ideas, values, and cultures of peoples past and present; read to broaden their knowledge of Canadian literary and cultural heritage; Recognize that Canadian literature is their literature and that is expresses in diverse ways their cultural heritage; recognize and appreciate the multiplicity of voices that make of Canadian literature. Representing and Viewing 2-Recognize nonverbal aids and visual representations as tools for communicating and learning: Presents information on a topic with class members in a planned and focused group session using a variety of audio-visual strategies; communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings using two or more media sources; recognize viewing as an active process that requires viewers to anticipate message and set a purpose for viewing, attend, seek and check understanding, interpret and summarize, analyze and evaluate; Identify purposes, intended audiences, messages, and multimedia presentations. PRE-ASSESSMENT/PRIOR KNOWLEDGE LEARNERS What experiences (cognitive, affective, social, psychomotor) do the learners bring to the unit? Some students are strong speakers and would benefit from a debate activity. Some students have travelled around Canada. Students have already had significant amount of opportunity to read and reflect a variety of literature. Students have discussed the topic of stereotypes in the context of Canadian identity. Some students have an interest in film and music. Students are motivated and engaged during interactive tasks and group discussions. Students will be given choice for the final project of the novel study. Learners will collaborate with teacher to develop assessment criteria for final project. What individual needs do you anticipate will need to be addressed? A.K. is very tentative and quiet. She does not like to be involved in-group discussions and she requires the assignments and learning tasks to be broken down into small parts. Z.A. is very quiet and does better in small group settings than in large group settings. LEARNING ENVIRONMENT SPACE TIME Classroom; Outdoors if weather permits. Desks can be arranged in pods/groups. We can use talking circles to discuss challenging issues such as discrimination. Full class times for Independent Reading and response. Group Discussions and literature circle type activities for full class hour. Block Thursdays: 2 hour classes Class time to complete research for final unit task. What teaching areas do I need to reserve? LRC, Lab top Carts, Computer Labs. DEMONSTRATION STATEMENTS/CULMINATING ACTIVITY Comprehension questions early in the independent reading to check for understanding. Key quote and collage - Students choose a quote from the novel that they found significant and then create a collage or piece of artwork around the quotation (Geraldine Balzer). Prepare a speaking presentation to teach peers about one section of to April Raintree or Halfbreed Prepare a written response that compares and contrasts personal experiences to character experiences. Media Scrapbook-Final unit project (Teacher’s guide to April Raintree, Portage and Main Press). SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS Provide rubrics, exams, projects Have you considered using a variety of the levels of complexity (e.g. Bloom, Krathwohl, Simpson, Harrow) as you select your specific expectations? Students will: 1. Read and comprehend the content, characters, and events of April Raintree or Halfbreed. 2. Prepare a speaking presentation in response to April Raintree or Halfbreed. 3. Further their understanding of the distinct culture of Metis people. 4. Critically reflect on personal bias through informal reader response writing. 5. Respond to, discuss and listen to perspectives and thoughts surrounding challenging social issues and injustices through spoken word, essays, and group discussions. 6. Respond to and discuss current Canadian issues that relate to issues within April Raintree or Halfbreed. 7. Compare and contrast personal experiences with the experiences of characters within April Raintree or Halfbreed. 8. Connect with the text through personal experiences, thoughts and feelings and relate these to their final autobiographical assignment. 9. Unit Culmination Assignment-Students will have a choice in the final project for the novel study but each choice will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and the students ability to apply the information in the novel to current Canadian society and social issues (drug/alcohol abuse, separation of families/physical and emotional abuse of family members, foster home situations, child welfare system, rape/violence against women, suicide and First Nations history/land claims/political struggles/environmental issues). Students will be assessed based on co-constructed rubrics; teacher constructed rubrics; and teacher feedback on written learning tasks that are handed in. Students will be assessed formatively through written tasks, question responses, and a group presentation. The summative assessment of students will occur through a final project that they choose to complete by the end of the unit. Based on the content and learning experiences already completed in this class, these expectations are realistic. Because of the nature of this class I want to provide the students with a significant amount of choice and freedom so that they can create meaning for themselves in each learning task and be able to relate it to their final autobiographical essay (being completed in place of final exam). That said, if these students come up with new ways to meet these expectations, I would be flexible CONTENT FOCUS (Initial brainstorming, mind mapping) Thematic Novel Study: April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton HalfBreed by Maria Campbell Theme 1: Pre-Reading Discrimination and Historical and Current Racism: What is it? Where do we see Racism in today’s world? Stereotypes of Metis and First Nations people Theme 3: Text to SelfConnections Deconstruction of personal bias Comparing and contrasting personal experiences with those of the characters in the novel Theme 2: Text to (Canadian) Society Connections Analysis of Social Issues Drug/Alcohol Abuse Separations of Families/Emotional and Physical Abuse Child welfare system Foster-home issues Suicide Rape/violence against women First Nations history/land claims/political struggles/environmental issues Theme 4: Resiliency Ability to bring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. Assessment: Comprehension tasks for first few chapters to check for understanding of key characters, events, and themes. Analytical and reflective questions in response to independent reading. Small group discussions. Oral speaking task in response to the novel. A written response comparing and contrasting personal experiences with character’s experiences. Quotation Collage Media Scrapbook of Social Issues. TEACHER PLANNING SHEET LEARNING ACTIVITY Activating Prior Knowledge-Prereading. SPECIFIC EXPECTATION Speaking, Listening, and representing: Identify current and historical stereotypes of metis and First Nations People. Understand significant Metis contributions to Canada. Begin to discuss and break down challenging terms such as discrimination, stereotype, prejudice, and racism. Active prior knowledge and personal opinions about challenging themes we will encounter in the novel. Students will choose one of two novels to work with during this novel study. TEACHING/LEARNING STRATEGIES Opinion Line/ Anticipation Guide Small group discussion and large group discussions comparing and contrasting terms (discrimination, stereotype, racism, prejudice). Culminate discussion with task: Graffiti Poster- in groups, create a poster with the word Discrimination written in the center and circle. Use different colored markers to jot down or draw ideas about discrimination. Display poster in the classroom to refer to later in the unit. Center Stations to introduce students to themes in the novel and how they link to current day issues knowledge-Jigsaw activity. Challenging Concepts Sheets: outline a construct such as discrimination, racism, stereotypes, etc. Have students research the definition, causes, and examples. RESOURCES “My Very Good Dear Friends” 1971 Chief Dan George History Text Books Websites: <http://mmf.mb.ca/inde x.php> <http://www.mns.ca/main/> <http://www.metisnatio n.ca/> Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples: <http://www.aincinac.gc.ca/ch/rcap/sg/c g_e.html> Newspaper Articles Racism Video: http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=dvqXh83IJ gM http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=HYaOuQJ UI84 ASSESSMENT EVALUATION Type Strategy Tool Formative Assessment: Graffiti poster; answers to questions, anecdotal comments on discussion response. PLANNING NOTES Introducing the Novel Speaking, listening, and reading: Listen to an overview of both novels and make a decision about which novel to read based on reading cover, back and skimming the first few chapters. Create a presentation group and sign up for a topic and presentation date. Understand reading strategies that will help organize and make meaning of the content being read. Learning Experiences during Reading Writing, Reading, Speaking, representing and Listening. In groups students will plan and present a section of the novel. Novels. Mini-Lesson about autobiography. Benefits and drawbacks to reading autobiographies. Brainstorming, cooperative group work, independent reading; Students construct their own rational for author’s purpose and meaning. Formative assessment: teacher observation and anecdotal comments. Group discussion with directive questions. Research Project on the Author: have students research the author’s life story and make predictions about the novel. Derogatory Term Discussion: what names have negative and racist connotations and why? Why would Campbell choose a racist slur about her own people as the title of her book? Current News Article about burgers named using a derogatory term. Mini-lessons exploring themes: identity, social issues, resiliency etc. Khodi Dill Spoken Word/Slam poetry Student created and directed presentations on selected part of the novel. Discuss blooms taxonomy to help guide student planning to include a variety of cognitive levels. Blooms Taxonomy Have students choose a chapter question prior to reading in class as a method of focusing their reading. Class Jigsaw-every group gets one question to focus their readingcongregate in different groups to facilitate discussion. Independent Learning: days for reading and reflection. Jeanne Perreault: “In search of Cheryl Raintree, and Her Mother” Jannetta’s Article: “Anecdotal Humour in Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed.” Group Project Rubic for teacher and selfevaluation. Exit slips Interactive Instruction: Group Discussions Writing Activities: Character Identity Timeline; Personal Identity Representation Alien Exercise: relate to residential schools. Draw on other pieces that relate to novel: Gregory Scotfield “Too Many Blueberries” Poems we have already covered. Spoken Word Poetry. Midpoint of Novel Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Midpoint Questions Possible Activities for Midterm Interactive Instruction -Debate Post-reading Writing, speaking, and listening: Students will be required to create and submit a cumulating project of their choice the meets the assignment expectations and co-created criteria. Small and large group discussions and reflective questions. Inter-novel Partner Comparisons. Time to work on cumulative project. Handouts with Questions Debate Topics (Possibly Student created) Final Project Expectations and Options. Co-Created Criteria for Cumulative Project Social Issues (Discuss throughout novel study) Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Representing: Students will begin to deconstruct personal bias through writing. Students will make connections between issues within the novel and issues in current Canadian society. Mini lectures and interactive discussions about current social issues as the come up in the novels. Newspaper Articles of Current issues <http://www.leaderpost .com/life/Census+Cana da+foster+children+co unted+first+time/72671 11/story.html> Foster Care video: <http://cbc.sh/CJYAi5B > “A Lost Heritage: Canada’s Residential Schools”-CBC archives. “Stolen Sisters: Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women” <http://www.amnesty.c a/campaigns/sisters_o verview.php> ACCOMMODATIONS SPECIAL NEEDS Provide a lot of choice in terms of assignments and tasks. Communicate clearly and break tasks down into small parts for A.K. Use small group work in order to help quiet students build on sharing their own voice. Include significant student responsibility and discussion based activities. DIVERSITY ISSUES Materials and resources that reflect a variety of perspectives and represent a different culture. Allow significant student choice both with questions and learning tasks. Student led presentations will help students construct their own learning using methods that best apply to their learning styles. Evaluation involves student choice has been created to help them with their final class project in January. Mature content in the novel may affect students in different ways. Be sensitive to students not wanting to participate in certain conversations revolving around sensitive events in the novel. TEACHER REFLECTION ( Evaluation of the unit) Perceptual Overview This unit is still in progress. This unit placed significant responsibility on behalf of the students. It directly reflected the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education curriculum goals and the College of Education program goals. The students were able to develop their ability to listen, speak, read, write, analyze, and represent information. I was able to include a variety of instructional strategies that spanned the spectrum from teacher directed to student directed instruction. Activities to be modified or deleted I adapted many elements of the unit as we move through. In the first lesson we covered a few of the stations but because of rich discussion in relation to discrimination, racism, prejudice, and stereotypes we did not cover all of the stations. This group of students has strong discussion skills and enjoys learning by interacting with one another. The student’s presentations were fairly well done and only required minor teacher supplementation. I plan to use student led presentation in the future because the instructional benefits were ten times what they would have been if I was using a direct instructional approach. The students fed off of one another and gained as much knowledge from each other as they would have from me, and they were motivated and engaged while learning. Teaching/learning strategy changes I would not make changes to the types of strategies that I used. I feel that the balance between direct, student lead, and independent study was beneficial for student learning. Materials needed/deleted Effectiveness of people, places, and resources used Materials Deleted: Some of the stations and articles. Effectiveness: I used a variety of resources that linked to current Canadian issues such as articles and spoken word poetry and you tube videos. I could have drawn on even more resources but what I did use was effective and relevant to the content of the novel. The students demonstrated knowledge through their presentations as well as independent study work. The answers handed in to be assessed, demonstrated in depth analysis and thoughtful insight/reflections about the content within the novels. I am excited to see what the students come up with for their final projects and further insights as to the effectiveness of the unit will be gained after the assessment of those projects. Works Consulted Adamson, P. and Kopetsky, L.(2008) Teacher’s Guide By Pat Adamson and Lauree Kopetsky for In search of April Raintree and April Raintree by Beatrice Mosionier. Portage & Main Press. Winnipeg, MB. FNESC. (2008) Unit 12: Metis Literature. English 12 First Peoples Teacher Resource Guide. Retrieved from <http://www.fnesc.ca/resources/publications>. September 29, 2012. Rattray, Golria. (2002) Aboriginal Voices Native Literature in English: Wellbeing and the Soul English Language Arts a 30. Teaching materials from the Stewart Resource Center. S101.76. Tregidgo, E. (2001) April Raintree: A multi-level novel study resource for instructors. National Literacy Secretariat, Aurora College, Hay River, NT.